Delaware Book Exchange to close
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 19:04
The Delaware Book Exchange, a popular destination for purchasing university merchandise and textbooks, will close at the end of the month.
The bookstore is located on East Main Street alongside Lieberman’s Bookstore and Barnes & Noble. Store officials declined to comment on why the Book Exchange is shutting down.
Dan Lieberman, the owner of Lieberman’s Bookstore, said he has had friendly competition with the Book Exchange for years, and he will be sorry to see the store shut down.
“Under the current ownership, the Delaware Book Exchange has been a formidable competitor, while being a friendly neighbor,” Lieberman said. “We are never happy to see a business close and for anyone to be losing jobs.”
Jennifer Galt, the general manager of the Barnes & Noble, said the competition between the three Main Street bookstores has always been friendly, so she is disappointed to see the bookstore go out of business.
Galt said the close proximity between the stores has kept each business aware of their profits and of student needs. She said she thinks students have benefitted from having multiple bookstores on Main Street when it comes to buying textbooks.
“Having competition is great,” Galt said. “It gives students options and helps us raise the bar to be better retailers. Anytime someone in the book industry shuts down, it is not a good thing.”
Michael Horney, 63, co-owner of Bookateria on East Cleveland Avenue, said his store is not as popular among students due to it only selling used paperbacks.
Although Horney’s bookstore is not in direct competition with the bookstores on Main Street, he said he was sorry to hear the Book Exchange was closing. He said when new customers come in to Bookateria and do not find what they are looking for, Horney often sends people to Main Street.
Horney said he is worried about keeping his business afloat because the growing popularity of buying books online has poorly impacted his store’s profits but has not forced him to shut it down yet.
“We have other jobs that pay money,” Horney said. “Over the years, the outside influences, especially the Internet [have affected our business]. We’ll never do business like we did 10 or 15 years ago.”
Horney said, unlike the Delaware Book Exchange, Bookateria is a privately owned, nonprofit business, which is why the store has managed to remain open.
Senior Alicia Wyckoff said she thinks the Internet is a part of the reason for the decline in bookstores’ sales.
“I think it has adversely affected them and cut their sales drastically,” Wyckoff said.
Senior Andrew Null, a business management major, said he typically sells books online, rather than selling his textbooks back to the store.
Null said he thinks the tendency of younger people to buy books online has hurt the bookstore’s business. He said while bookstores offer immediate access to books, online booksellers often have more competitive prices.
“Online book shopping has had a negative effect on brick and mortar stores such as the Book Exchange,” Null said. “The many online purchasing options usually offer a better price and availability.”